The Platform, or ‘El Hoyo’ (The Hole) is a Spanish film that’s more than just horror or science fiction. I got major ‘The Cube’ vibes, but with a more political and poignant message. There’s drama. There’s dystopian. There’s subtly. There’s a SPOILER-FREE review below? (Gasp!) 

From my poking around, it looks like this is the full-length feature from director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, but you wouldn’t know it in the least. Honestly, I could have had this as a short series, as each level is a new episode. But I’m a sucker for character development and slow-burns. This director has so much talent, I’m seriously blown away by the finished product, so let’s hurry up and get to the “meat and potatoes” of it.

The Plot:

Our Main

Our Main Protagonist is Goreng (Iván Massagué). He’s young, thoughtful, smart and compassionate. He wakes to find himself in a prison-like room with an older man (Zorion Eguileor) and a hole in the floor which drops into a seemingly bottomless pit, with other rooms like theirs below them. The other man explains that they are on the 48th level of a vertical structure. Every month, they change levels. Food passes through each floor for a short amount of time from the first level, down to the bottom. However, as it gets to the lower levels, food becomes scarce or non-existent. 

I’m getting vertigo just from drawing this

The story follows Goreng and his reasons for being in the facility, his relationships between other prisoners, and his struggles to keep alive and sane. Can he make a change within the system? Can he even make it out alive? 

And what’s the deal with cake, apart from it being a lie?

Thoughts:

Beautiful. Dark. Wonderful. The acting is fantastic. The cinematography is gorgeous (especially for being inside such a sanitized and stationary set). The music is hauntingly atmospheric, never taking away from the scenes and carefully adding to each performance. Makeup and effects are spot-on, being mostly practical and incredibly realistic.

The pacing is slow and sweetly tortuous as we all scramble to make sense and purpose as the tensions and stakes build. And can I talk about the acting again? Of course I can, it’s my review. Phenomenal. Everyone was perfect. From the couple above them to the lispy visionary. Spot-on and flawless, especially Iván Massagué and Zorion Eguileor.

Like, I’m going to be watching this a few more times, everyone. And you know how much I hate wasting my time, so that says something. This story will only grow with more viewings.

It’s just a stunning and painful experience, and to that, I thank and congratulate everyone involved. It was legitimately hard for me to find flaws to critique.

Brain Roll Juice:

So much lovely juice! I don’t want to go too much into the plot, but there’s questions and criticisms of humanity. Of socialism and capitalism. Of the future and the past. Of sacrifice and self-preservation. Of attachment to things and who we once were.

It’s a surreal and yet recognizable trip into horror. We see glimpses of ourselves, or what we hope ourselves to be, or terrifyingly what we may become. 

This movie makes me feel like a proud Chef Ramsey. Stunning! Damn near perfect, in fact.

Bottomline:

That being said, it won’t be for everyone. Definitely not for a “fun” movie night. But a wonderful piece for a night when you need to feel something. This is for a discussion night. Or a “drinking alone, but you have a friend coming over later” night.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
About the Author

When not howling Tina Turner classics with Glorious Spouse under the hazy Detroit moon, J.M. Brannyk (a.k.a. Boxhuman) reviews mostly supernatural and slasher films from the 70's-90's and is HauntedMTL's dubious Voice of Reason. Aside from writing on HauntedMTL, Brannyk dips into the podcasts, runs the show on 'The Combobox', and is composer to some of HauntedMTL's podcast themes. They've also have contributed to other websites such as Gayly Dreadful's Pride 2020 and Nightmarish Conjurings.

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